Antagonistic Supersets – Garage Strength

Antagonistic Supersets


Everyone is looking for that big stimulus in their training. The discussions are endless but every conversation bounces back around to the main question: “Is there something I can do right now to get bigger? To get stronger?”


The answer isn’t that easy, unless there was an option for a full blown program analysis. There is always SOMETHING everyone can be doing to improve their lifts. That’s where our secret comes into play. This is something @ghostfacedmillah has perfected over the years, check out the quickest way to get MASSIVE today!

Growing In the Garage

Simplicity has been the cornerstone of the strength gains found inside the Garage. It’s important to remember that our gym started in a 400 square foot garage without heat or insulation. That meant creativity and simplicity were KEY to growth. This led to many early complaints from my brother and I throughout our first couple years of training.

It all started at dinner one day. I complained to my dad about not having enough equipment in the garage to really lift and get big. After he berated me and made fun of me for being small minded, he gave me a quick lesson on physiology and strength training.


When an agonist muscle is used for a big exercise, the agonist actually recovers faster when the antagonist group is used during the rest period. This is a principle known as antagonistic supersets. After the explanation from my dad, he challenged me to give it a go around and see if I can stimulate some muscle that way.


Excited to chase the pump, I was like a kid in a candy shop. I ran outside, got my warm up rolling and decided to give it a go. How about DB bench and one arm rows? My workout went like this:

1A) DB Bench 4 x 5/2 x 15

1B) One Arm Row 6 x 10/10

My arms felt massive. The problem? I felt like I was going to vomit. Each time I hit the one arm row, my gut felt some churning and the burn in my arms was unbearable. I didn’t want to finish the session. I came into the house white-faced and told my dad that was a pretty tough workout as he sat downstairs watching Seinfeld, grinning ear to ear.


The Cornerstone

Little did Dad know that cemented the cornerstone of our training at Garage Strength. The principles were later backed up by the sessions of learning from Charles Poliquin and his group in Rhode Island. They swore by antagonistic supersets. Eight years later, my Dad’s lesson was approved by one of the best sports performance coaches in the world (R.I.P Charles). Since that day in Rhode Island, I have spent YEARS developing some of the craziest superset pairings an individual could potentially execute.

Front squats with ab wheel? Done.

Dips with Rope climbs? Done.

Farmers walks with sled pulls? Easy.

What pairing seems to be the ABSOLUTE BEST? What is the pairing I always come back to? The two lifts that trigger the most growth? The two lifts paired together that every single person in the world can make gains from?


Want to dive deeper into Antagonistic Supersets?! Click HERE!


The Answer

Bench Press and Pull Ups.

I know you are thinking, “Come on, that’s easy!” BUT, is it really that easy? Set up the program like this:


1A) Bench 12/9/7/5/17/17

1B) Pull Ups (Dead hang, that means full extension for you Joel Seedman loving babies) 4 x 4 weighted, 2 x failure

As you can see, there is some serious volume here. The key is to push the 12 and 9 but don’t go crazy. Make sure you have 2 reps left in the tank. On the pull ups, I want you focused on pushing the weight. Do them weighted and try to feel the lats lengthen when you are hanging at the bottom of the rep. This will lead to those coveted wings!

Make sure to rest 45-60 seconds from bench press to pull ups. After the pull ups are done, rest for another 2 minutes. This 2 minutes is about recovery, it isn’t time to snap chat and Instagram people, it is time to recover! Push the set of five on the bench to near failure. Make it heavy! Stimulate the hell out of it and then make the last set of four on the pull ups a grind. Now your upper body is ready to grow.


For the drop sets, we need to fatigue those stimulated muscle fibers. Get under the bar and smash 17 reps, rest 60 seconds and do pull ups to failure. Repeat that after 2 minutes of rest. You should have a MASSIVE pump throughout the entire upper body and feel the growth as you walk to the mirror and start flexing!


This simple trick is not for the faint of heart. This takes quite a bit of time and effort to grow accustomed to antagonistic training. Once the adaptations occur, continue to use this to develop big time muscles and serious strength. Observing physiology is important, use supersets to get more work done in a shorter period of time while stimulating growth in two different muscle groups!

Dane Miller

Dane Miller is the owner and founder of Garage Strength Sports Performance. He works with a select handful of elite athletes building comprehensive programs for strength and sports performance. Several times a year he leads a seminar for coaches, trainers, and athletes.


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